After five-year wait, callup Bernier gets Majors start

After five-year wait, callup Bernier gets Majors start

After five-year wait, callup Bernier gets Majors start

ANAHEIM -- Doug Bernier made his first big league start in more than five years on Monday against the Angels, starting at shortstop and batting second for the Twins.

He picked up his first Major League hit with an RBI double in the fourth inning against right-hander Joe Blanton.

Bernier, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on July 14, last started in the Majors on June 19, 2008, with the Rockies. He played two games that year, going 0-for-4 at the plate, and he's been in the Minors since then. He came in as a defensive substitution in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against the Indians and drew a walk, which marked the first time he reached base in the Majors.

"It's been a long time," Bernier said. "It's exciting. I figured I'd be in the lineup one time, but to see it, it's just exciting."

Bernier, who hails from Santa Maria, Calif., which is about three hours north of Anaheim, said he had family in town for Monday's game and is simply grateful to be back in the Majors. He said his wife, Sarah, was the first person he told when he found out he'd be getting the callup, and she joined him on the trip along with their infant daughter, Kinsley.

"I always just wanted to keep going," Bernier said about his road back to the Majors. "I felt like I could play at this level, and it helped drive me. And having the support of my wife was huge, because she was in on it, too. So the fact she was supportive helped out. I always just had the belief of keeping going and giving it a try."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.